Graeme Shinnie

As we’ve known for a while, Graeme Shinnie is off. If there is one thing that exemplifies Graeme Shinnie, it’s in his last game for Aberdeen a very important game v Kilmarnock, he picked up an injury. With all our subs used, despite not having a contract for next season, with literally millions at stake for his own career, he stayed on the park (risking further injury) to ensure Aberdeen got the three points.

One can only guess from body language, but after the game McInnes appeared to approach Shinnie to acknowledge what he’d done. Shinnie just shrugged it off. Little or nothing said about what he’d done after the game.

Like his serious health condition. Almost never mentioned. Never ever used as an excuse. Shinnie was a captain, a real Aberdeen captain.

Here’s hoping we see him again in the red of Aberdeen.

Acknowledgements to Scott Baxter, Stephen Dobson, SNS Group.


dandy art

The Dandy Dons shop is open. Lots of posters, lots of t-shirts. I just thought I’d explain a bit about what I was doing for some of it, and a bit about me and my art.

I have an Afc art history, a heritage as it were. Cartoonist on The Northern Light fanzine, The P&J (mainly the back page), The Absolute Game fanzine, When Saturday Comes, and the pinnacle, the ultimate, doing some illustrations for Aberdeen FC themselves back when Ebbe was manager.

Quite the fitba CV. Which completely makes up for the lack of earnings during those jobs.

So while the Facebook page and the blog are now approaching four years old in their current format, and thousands of memes and illustrations have been published during that time, I thought I’d do something more substantial. Something artistic to express my thanks to the club and the city of my birth.

I also wanted to empty my head of all the ideas that were rattling around in my head, some of which had been there for years.

‘One city, one team, two European trophies’ has been in my head for decades. Adding a lobster to it, because, well there are reasons, is quite new.

Bottles and food (still life) appear in a few of the illustrations, as they often do in other aspects of my art. The son of a chef, a hotel manager and publican, I grew up in that industry.

The Dandy logo

The Dandy logo. The essence of Dandy. It’s an extreme simplification of the official Aberdeen FC, Donald Addison designed logo. A laughing face. The mouth represents where the 1903 sits in the official logo.

There’s a small nod in the symbol to acid house. Aberdeen supporters eh, stuck in the eighties. Needing drugs in the nineties for the Roy Aitken, Alex Miller years.

I only discovered Donald Addison had designed the official Afc logo from Wikipedia recently. He taught me during my brief spell at Gray’s School of Art, and I lived next door to him for years. If he’s still with us, all the best there Don.

More designs will follow. Visit the shop here.

shay logan

To celebrate Shay Logan being, Shay Logan, here’s the memes and illustrations of The Dandy Dons on Shay down the years.

The fox in the box. Which if I remember rightly from Red TV, Dave and Andrew said it’s a nickname he gave himself!! You’ve got to love someone who gives themself a nickname!

The Shay man. Move any mountain. The band, the song. Interesting fact (to absolutely no-one) in my first full time job, I worked with a member of The Shamen, Allison. Albeit she wasn’t in the band when they got famous. But she’s on their Wikipedia page. Still counts.

The shop is open

Didn’t think it possible, but the last few weeks the Glasgow media have reached a new low in their coverage of Scottish football. And this isn’t just the tabloids, not just the usual suspects. BBC Glasgow, on your licence fee.

Brendan leaves Celtic. A very successful manager, a very skilled manager, he left as, well it was time. It is sad for supporters when a player or manager moves on to better things, but it happens. You get sad and or angry about it for a day or two, you pick yourself up, and get on with it. The king is dead, long live the king.

Not if you support The Rangers or Celtic. You get nursed through the whole sad/angry experience by a succulent lamb media, as they offer twenty four hour psychological care. As if the prospect of dealing with the reality that their teams, aint all that, is simply something these emotional wrecks couldn’t deal with.

Attack after attack after attack on Brendan Rodgers. “How could he leave when he could have been a hero?”

Two things; he singularly shoots ‘the treble treble’ in the back of the head at very close range, as if it is any sort of an achievement. It’s not, whatever the media say, it’s a perfect example of how ridiculously skewed Scottish football is financially. A small reminder, Celtic with all that money, all those resources, will be playing Aberdeen, from the North East of Scotland, at ‘neutral’ Hampden soon, which is in Glasgow. Because it’s just not fixed enough for them in advance already. We will be sneered at, and belittled for not taking enough supporters.

Secondly, in the absence of any actual journalism in Scotland, why did Brendan leave when he left?

Anyone remember when McInnes arrived at Aberdeen? Lovely man that he is, I’d doubt very much Craig Brown wanted to retire five games before the end of the season. McInnes wanted in early so he could coach the players. Find out what their personalities were like. Who was open to learning, and following his instructions, and who wasn’t. So he knew what to bring in in the summer. That first full season we got off to a flyer. That momentum helped transform our club from the mess it had been in for years to now generating probably more than double it’s previous turnover. But nowhere in the Scottish media is the fact these two, reputed to be friends, have done exactly the same thing when starting a job.

Then there is the recent defeats of The Rangers by Aberdeen. I’d be surprised if there is anywhere outside of a dictatorship where a far smaller team, with regard to resources (though crucially not history or European trophies), would get such reluctant praise for beating a team with the budget of The Rangers. The media narrative all over the world of the giant killer, the underdog being a great story. Not in Scotland.

Just pumping out the laughable whataboutery of investigating Aberdeen supporters for sectarian chanting, and allowing the narrative of appealing Morelos yellow card (the narrative is ‘they were cheated’) just diversion and dishonesty all over your licence fee funded BBC.

Only a few weeks ago, Steve Clarke had a public melt down at his treatment from supporters of The Rangers. He went into great detail as to how shameful it was, how embarrassing it was for Scotland and how glad he was he’d left Scotland when Chelsea signed him when he was young. That was exactly when the media ought to have gone into overdrive into this cancer in Scottish football and Scottish society.

Instead the media have been very deliberately trying to tar every Scottish club. Everyone is a problem. A diversion. The establishment working together. The Record, Scottish Sun, Sky, BBC all ‘coincidently’ doing exactly what Traynor wants them to do.

I’d put money on Steve Clarke going back to England in the summer.

The shop is on fire.

pamela anderson

There’s a lot of different opinions at the moment on the last transfer window. And assorted opinions on AberdDNA. As almost every blog article on here has to begin, different opinions are great, it’s what makes fitba magic, and why should we all be in agreement with each other. We’re all different. As I write that I hear Graham Chapman’s voice in Life of Brian.

The club has X amount of money, the club can spend Y amount without going into debt. We want what’s best for the club, pretty sure most of us believe those in charge of the club largely want the same. I don’t think anyone thinks anyone at the club has their hand in the till.

But AberDNA is different. The call went out, we can directly help the team. So we do have a need and right to know where the money has gone. Again everyone is different, plenty have said on Twitter, ‘I gave the money to the club, to use as they see fit’. Perfectly good attitude. There are others that are not happy. Two ‘disappointing’ transfer windows, has them questioning where the money is being spent?

The DNA money is a drop in the ocean to a sizable element of our support. To others, the backing of the Dons, through match tickets, to travelling to away games, to paying into DNA, it’s everything. It could on occasion be money that really ought to be paying for a holiday, or an electric bill. Football does that. And remember when we are all being grateful to a couple of multi-millionaire directors for throwing a few shillings at a problem, every single paying supporter at Pittodrie has paid in a higher percentage of their disposable income than any director.

Bananas

So the money thing. What’s been spent and where. And we are doing it in bananas.

The club prior to McInnes’s arrival was pretty much dead in the water having been mismanaged for decades. Along came Derek McInnes in his Baywatch dookers and pulled us out of the water, before 1990’s Pamela Anderson gave us a long slow kiss of life on the beach…

Under Craig Brown the support had fallen to record low levels, a crowd of a little over 5000 started to become normal. Not really Brown’s fault, years of mismanagement had broken a lot of people.

Let’s say Craig Brown’s budget was 30 bananas per season for the football operation. Covering everything, player/manager/coaches/physios salaries, transfer fund, the reserve team, youth, scouting, biscuits in the manager’s office, everything football. 30 bananas.

McInnes comes in, he too gets a 30 bananas budget. The team improves, we get to semi-finals and finals regularly, people come back to Pittodrie, the average crowds get to more like 14,000 per game, sponsorship increases, merch sales increase, and clearly Pamela Anderson did the trick.

McInnes then would have a ‘conservative guess’ 50 bananas budget per season. Of which 20 bananas, his skill, talent and hard work are directly responsible for. So for anyone complaining about what they have heard his salary to be, it should probably be double whatever it is.

The 50 bananas budget allows McInnes to lift the club up a level or three. We picked up McLean for 200k, but more importantly there were new contracts for McGinn and Hayes, keeping them at the club, keeping them hungry, showing them there was direct financial rewards for them, and the other players. Very few left our club for a few years. Youth players are no longer being cherry picked by English clubs before they even make our first team. Also there may be more physios, football science people, higher catering budget, trips to Dubai (paid for by the sponsors, but because they want to be associated with a successful team). All down to McInnes.

Then along comes AberDNA. All profits, ya dee dah, the football operation. The set up costs will have been sizable in that first year, but also I’d imagine the most sign ups would also be in that year.

So let’s say AberDNA generated 10 bananas profit. And that 10 bananas went to McInnes for the football operation.

The big question is, and it needs to be asked, is did McInnes get 60 bananas to spend or not?

50 like the previous year’s budget, plus 10 DNA bananas?

Or did McInnes get 53 bananas to spend? 10 bananas from DNA plus 43 from the previous year’s budget, as seven bananas got redirected to Kingswells?

And while there are plenty who will have no problem with that, the problem is ‘all profits from AberDNA will be used exclusively to support the Football Operation, in an effort to level the playing field with our closest rivals.’ doesn’t mention previous year’s budget. And if that is deliberately missing, then sorry fellas, that’s not good enough.

I don’t know the answer. But if McInnes’s budget is 60 bananas, and I genuinely believe it might be, then it needs to be communicated.

And it’s for the people who maybe don’t have enough for an electric bill as they are putting into AberDNA I am asking.

I trust in McInnes, because I’m not a fucking idiot. I don’t trust multi-millionaires, for exactly the same reason.

Derek McInnes slept out all night to help the homeless. The man who builds houses wasn’t there.

The first two minutes of the video.

aberdeen inverness

A bit about my favourite game, and my father.

afc-directors

afc-directors

I put together my thoughts on Stewart Milne, in a big picture 20-25 years overall look back a couple of weeks back called Stewart Milne – an uncomfortable read. Where I put it, I felt our club has been mothballed for the last couple of decades, just ticking over. McInnes being a handy, and very talented sticking plaster disguising that fact. And there was a great Roger Rabbit analogy…

As I wrote it, I was aware Dave Cormack has had a growing Afc media presence recently, but had no real opinion on him. Then one specific event woke me up to him.

It was announced the club were launching an Aberdeen Women’s team. I had followed Aberdeen Ladies on Facebook a while back, and thought it odd the 100,000 plus official Afc Facebook page didn’t promote them. Now I know why. They were not properly part of the club.

You don’t need to know much about football to know Women’s football is a fast expanding, incredibly positive development in the world of football. And has been for some time.

I think it’s safe to say who would be behind that move. It’s not just about money and investment.

It’s ideas and awareness. Our club is awake after a long sleep.

Here’s to Cormack and Milne becoming the new Chris Anderson, Dick Donald. Forward thinking, responsible, creative people who love our club like we do.

 

One of the nice aspects of creating illustrations, is now and again you bump into your own artwork unexpectedly. Always sweet, sometimes the artwork has carelessly ‘lost’ it’s signature, or even been doodled on. Whatever, the more art in the world, the better.
So I bumped into a couple of old friends on Twitter.

My two covers for The Northern Light fanzine. I have a feeling maybe the one on the right was a back cover. I remember painstakingly adding the Letraset lettering (no Mac then) for the vertical typography on the right.

So in the interests of, ye know ego, I’ll just drop into the comments, to gently point out the person who created the art over 25 years ago is me. Hello! And a silly wee Oasis gag too.

Not a sausage. Nada. Nix. No one gives a shit you egotistical tool. Serves ya right.
I pop back a bit later, just in case, I don’t know, Willie Miller has opened a Twitter account specially, and has thanked me, and said those last two cups were all down to me. Could happen…

Oooh, even better. The Heritage account, has descended from the clouds of Aberdeen FC royalty, to leave a comment. Presumably sent via a tablet of stone to a guy on a hill to tweet.

They’ve taken time away from fiddling with their toys in the permanently mothballed Afc museum someone thinks should be in Westhill and not central Aberdeen. Where the people are. Why no Guggenheim in Westhill I wonder? The mothballing of which pretty much representing a metaphor of the last twenty years of Aberdeen FC general management.
I wonder which member of the Heritage team would be commenting on The Northern Light. Who could it be?
Well I’d literally mentioned his name earlier in the thread.

Still nothing. Well aware of the random nature of what people spot on their Twitter feed, and the level of concentration and time some people use. But having been turned down by The Red Final when I offered artwork after the great The Northern Light band split up of 1993, on the back of having slaved away for free on both The Northern Light, and The Granite Kipper, which was a singular waste of my fucking time, as there was no material to write on anything, but I was too nice to say no, because I liked Chris. Am I going to handle it like a mature adult, old enough to seriously know better?

Am I fuck.

And the response.
Nothing.
Let it go Iain, let it go…

Oh and one other thing. So you have all The Northern Lights ready for the museum when the stadium opens in possibly a decade. Just in time for the last of the actual audience to have passed away. Such a shame there’s no website it could go on… or photos of the museum pieces you have hoarded could go online. Be nice if our club could try living in the present. It’s been a while.

remmer

remmer

We all know Ally Begg. TV producer, former boy band member, former TV presenter, makes excellent AFC videos with football A listers, comes over like a thoroughly decent, self effacing bloke, and most importantly a passionate Dandy.  Big on Twitter, big on Facebook, he’s Afc celebrity royalty. Dundee Utd have that drunk woman from the telly, we’ve got Ally Begg.

I appear to be sucking up. Or about to say something not that nice, maybe.

I don’t know him, but I’ve met him. A long, long time ago.

1990 to 1993 I worked in the old caseroom at Aberdeen Journals as a layouter. We had a five aside football team that played twice a week, every week. This was a phenomenal achievement, a phenomenal piece of perseverance, as we never once won a game in that time. That may have changed after I left.

We played at Sheddocksley Sports Centre in Mastrick. Not far from the Journals building at Lang Stracht, not far from where quite a few of the guys in the team would have lived.

I don’t remember anyone else who worked at Sheddocksley Sports Centre, but there was this one guy who appeared for a few weeks I do remember.

Sheddocksley Sports Centre

White, flat, overhead strip lighting. The least flattering lighting that can be found. The stench of heavy duty disinfectant, possibly undistilled bleach, a lot of stale sweat, and I’m getting just a hint of hangover farts and a dash of Kouros. Welcome to Sheddocksley Sports Centre. Every sports centre in Scotland.

He looked like Tom Cruise. But much, much taller. Ally Begg is the only person in the history of anything, who has looked good, in an Aberdeen District Council shell suit. It is almost impossible to describe the unnatural juxtaposition of someone who would shortly be joining a boyband, to this council building. What the fuck is he doing in here, what is he even doing in Scotland, making the rest of us look and feel bad.

But that’s not why I remember him. Despite the fact we always lost, we’d started out losing 28-0, we’d gotten better, and we were closing in on games losing 7-4, 6-3. This was bringing out the competitive edge, this would involve trying to pull in outside help. One of the guys must have asked Ally to join the team. Of course he’s good at football. Gritted teeth. I forget the rest of the game, I know we lost, but I remember very, very clearly being shouted at for making a mistake. By Ally Begg.

I am an artist, with an artist’s sensitive soul, and two left feet. The bad man shouted at me. That’s why I remember Ally Begg.

Oh we’re not done yet.

London Calling

After the Journals I moved to London. I’m at my desk drawing, listening to the radio one evening. It’s either Radio 1, or Capital Radio. A boy band is being interviewed. I’m not really paying attention.

It starts to become clear something is wrong. The USP of a boy band, is very good looking people, who dance and sing/mime a bit. However being interviewed in a radio studio, they are just some blokes talking. There is clear inter band tension. The normal show business professionalism has been eroded by either shaggin’ too many women, taking too much drugs, or just getting on each others nerves 24/7. This is car crash radio. This sounds like it could end in a fight.

Now I’m listening.

One of them is Scottish. I don’t know how many boy bands there were back then. Probably through the Journals I’m aware that bloke from Sheddocksley Sports Centre is in a boy band, I don’t know which one, I won’t have remembered his name either back then. Pre-internet.

In true Smash Hits, Just Seventeen magazine, bubble gum nonsense style, the interviewer is asking incredibly inane questions that listeners are calling in with. I still remember two of the questions.

What is your favourite thing?

Each member answers with various stock answers, it comes to the Scottish one, he answers ‘chocolate’. A perfectly fitting boyband member answer. This is pissing one of them off, I’m fascinated at what’s going down.

Next question. What do you hate the most?

Various stock answers.

Our man, the Scottish one answers:

Wait for it.

“Rangers”.

At this there is an audible, ‘oh for fucks sake’ from the other band mates, followed by ‘there goes that demographic from the fan base’. And I am on the floor laughing. I think I’ve found our man. And, I’ve just forgiven him for shouting at me during the game.

Maybe there was another boy band with a Scottish member who didn’t like Rangers back then, who knows…

Update: After a wee chat with Ally on Twitter (cheers Ally) ‘That was definitely us’.

Ally has a book you can buy here, a fantastic blog you can read, with all sorts of brilliant Afc interviews and videos.

And breath. Still too early to forget Saturday.

Things to remember: 1. The players and employees of Aberdeen FC do not read some random blog by a supporter.

In light of the cup final, this makes analysis, or half arsed opinions, post match slightly different. There is an important game on Sunday. If they win, they are in the history books, and what happened the week before, the 13 league games before, disappear into a half sentence of ‘after a slow start to season 2018-2019 The Dons lifted…’. And that’s it.

And of course I want them to win. Of course I want Shinnie lifting that trophy, of course I want him to send me an email saying ‘get it right up ye, who’s a cunt now, ye cunt’. Because you can be furious with footballers and still back them all the way. It’s the fitba.

It was wrong to say he isn’t a captain, and isn’t a midfielder. He’s a great player, a great Dandy, a great captain. My anger with him comes from a number of issues, that aren’t just about him. I think it’s also perfectly okay to give him stick. He is very popular, gets lots of praise. I would never have gone after an unpopular player. I’m not following the nasty element in our crowd who are so desperate to feel superior to someone in life, will go after someone to destroy them… And I’m sure in the unlikely event of my opinions getting to Shinnie, he’ll be fine.

Jack shit…

It started with Ryan Jack. Two seasons of Ryan Jack as centre midfield. The lynchpin that every move was to start from, who’d control the tempo of the game, lead the team and dictate play. A position he never grew into, never had the skills for, that disrupted the flow of our team, and he repaid that trust by… That Ryan Jack.

Then there’s the loan players. Maddison in our team, was not that good. They didn’t get long enough to gell, a couple of bits of brilliance apart, he was whisked away just before he was about to start delivering. Ryan Christie. Do you remember that much magic from him? I remember the last few months. Him coasting along. Nobody thought he’d make it at Celtic, least of all Scotland, and that was just a few months ago. So safe to say Ryan Christie simply wasn’t trying the tail end of last season. Remember when he used to hate Aberdeen supporters, well… Once a Dandy, never forgets.

And that takes me back to Shinnie. He hasn’t signed a new contract, I quite understand why. Financially the rewards at a club like Norwich, Ipswich, Wolves or whoever are enormous, but what would really fuck me off, would be seeing Graeme Shinnie playing for one of them, at left back. If that becomes the case, at what point are Aberdeen FC just a play thing for bigger and better players. A place to mess around before a real team, a proper job where you do what you are fucking told for the good of the team, not the good of your career, or where you fancy playing.

Mutton dressed as mock chop supper

We have had a disjointed midfield since Barry Robson and Willo Flood stopped controlling the centre. Professional midfielders,  specialists in their area, which meant from defence to attack, the team flowed, one unit working together. Now we have a defence. A midfield. And a forward line.

A forward line that is low on confidence. Taking pelters game after game. I loved Adam Rooney to bits, but I remember him missing chances. Particularly in big games. This current lot, barely seen them miss a chance. Because our atrocious midfield couldn’t find them if you drew them a fucking map. Forwards that are low on confidence need more chances to score a goal than confident forwards.

There is a name missing from this. As there was in the unbridled rant after the game. You know who it is. And I’m not criticising him. He’s still the best manager since Ferguson by a country mile. I am happy to admit even for a football supporter, I’m a football supporter who doesn’t know much about football. I’m a graphic artist. But I regularly get opinions from people who are not graphic artists telling me what is wrong with my work. And they are wrong. So, welcome to my world Dek.

Here’s to the final. They can still do it. Because We are the famous Aberdeen.

On the off chance you missed the unbridled rage version.

punch bag aberdeen

punch bag aberdeen

Cup final coming up. Mustn’t rock the boat. Mustn’t upset the applecart. Cause let’s face it, I’m sure they read my blog…

Aberdeen Motherwell, how dare you. How fucking dare you. You collection of pig ignorant, overpaid, fucking wage thieves. How dare you. Each and every one of you, fucking arseholes. Back from international duty, back from a Xmas away day in Dublin, how fucking dare you wear that fucking strip. How dare you. You fucking cunts.

Did I mention I was on a diet. You fucking arseholes. That was nothing short of shameful what you did on Saturday. Cunts, each and every one of you.

2-0 down at half time. The Motherwell keeper didn’t have a second half save to make.

Was it a blip, was it a one off, were they saving themselves for the final? Were they fuck. That is the perfect example of what they have churned out for about 80% of games this season. Oh, we are building towards something. Are we? Are we really? You mean the team that appears to be built around the waste of space captain Shinnie, who hasn’t signed a new contract, and is not a midfielder or captain but game after game is the centre of everything, singularly resulting in fuck all. The headless chicken, punching the badge but getting literally nothing done.

That captain?

Ooooh, there’s a final. Mustn’t upset them. Been coasting all season. Lazy, complacent, disinterested, wastes of space. How dare you wear that strip.

You win 8-0 in the cup final. Doesn’t begin to fix the damage from saturday you fuckin’ wage stealing arseholes.

 

 

kris boyd watch

kris boyd watch

Once again we are being trolled by Kris Boyd. It’s all a bit of a laugh, it’s all a bit of banter.

Ellen Degeneres said in a very succinct stand up routine years ago, ‘If you are teasing someone, and the person you are teasing isn’t laughing, you don’t understand teasing’. A routine about that line being crossed between teasing and bullying, or abuse. A line quite a lot of people appear unaware of. For teasing, replace with banter.

So football supporters who have just conceded a goal, or in the case of Hearts had a decision go against them, are laughing along are they at that moment. A player we say is fat, scores a goal, then rubs it in to the opposition supporters. Is that banter, really? It could be, if that was all it was. In the context of his Sun newspaper column and pundit career where he has said a number of dishonest, nasty and really quite hateful things about our club, our players and our supporters, is it bants? Or is it clear and deliberate provocation from someone who, probably correctly, believes he is above the laws of Scottish football.

We got the last laugh, but is that really relevant?

No one is condoning throwing a coin, but when Lennon was provoking the Hearts support, were they laughing at the time? The 99.9% who didn’t throw anything? Were they in on the fun, the bants?

How important was the football to those Hearts supporters, or us the Aberdeen supporters who went to Kilmarnock. What percentage of our disposable income goes on the football? Kris Boyd and Neil Lennon are multi-millionaires.

When I wrote about Boyd, all of last week, I put my opinion forward as to why he was attacking Aberdeen so much. I said it was probably orchestrated by Traynor, and it was as a bare minimum the Rangers must get past us this season. As I was writing it, I thought at what point will they turn on Hearts? We were days away from it.

Watching the BBC ‘journalists’ on Twitter circle around Lennon and Boyd is very enlightening on that cozy little club called the establishment.

Call them what you will, The Old Firm, The Collective Cunt Club, The Sectarian Cartel, between them the Scottish msm and their former players, they are a cancer in sport and in Scottish society.

plane aberdeen

plane aberdeen

I saw Ronaldinho play for Barcelona in the Nou Camp, Camp Nou (make up yer feckin’ minds) while he was the best player in the world. Rijkaard had taken over as manager, it had started badly, then *Bartha* went on a run of about eleven wins in a row, the beginning of the little bit too short window of Ronaldinho being the man.

It was about game seven of that run, Davids got sent off. Athletico Madrid they were playing I think. Ronaldinho was just incredible, unstoppable. I was with a Danish girlfriend (number 3 in a series), the loveliest, coolest Scandinavian chic you could ever meet (of course I’d go on to self destruct it)  but for that magical weekend in Barcelona, with that football match, with Ronaldinho at his prime, I was in heaven.

Best footballer I ever saw, the greatest footballing experience of my life, Peter Weir in an Aberdeen shirt.

Everyone connected with Gothenburg is a legend. Everyone worthy of unending gratitude. But it was Weir and Willie Miller who had their own special stratosphere. My greatest footballing privilege. To see Peter Weir play.

I have a late memory, a sad memory. Can’t remember who we were playing. Mystified at Peter not getting a game. For Gary Hackett? This had been going on for a while, before a game all the players warming up, Peter started doing this incredible bit of skill by himself. I can’t remember what it was, but the crowd got behind it. Were watching him, were with him. He was making a statement. I think he was gone within a few weeks. Our next decent left winger was Jonny Hayes. Three decades later. Jonny is a lovely guy by all accounts, and was a great Dandy, but not a tenth of Peter Weir. Porterfield you blundering thundercunt.

We can’t end with that. I will badly paraphrase a story left on the page a couple of years ago. Apologies to whoever left it, if you recognize it, want your name on, want it revised, let me know.

A plane full of Dandies flying to Gothenburg for the final. A wee bit fired up. The stewardess starts doing the safety instructions, before take off. Every time she mentions the rear of the plane, the whole plane keeps bursting into a round of ‘Peter Weir, Peter Weir, Peter Weir’ (to the Here we go song). The safety instructions take quite a while. Finally the plane takes off, literally bouncing up the runway to the sound of Peter Weir, Peter Weir, Peter Weir…

I put it forward, Peter Weir is not just a legend, not just a Gothenburg Great, perhaps, the greatest of them all.

neil lennon

neil lennon

What a butterie… sorry

Football supporters are a complex, contrary, inconsistent bunch. By way of example, I’ve grown to really quite like Neil Lennon, I think he’s a good bloke.

It would appear, from my very unscientific social media studies, (Higher grade C probably, to match the others) since Lennon has been at Hibs, a large chunk of the Aberdeen support also seem to quite like Lennon, and when Dek looked to be leaving a year back, his name appeared on quite a few wish lists for our next manager. More in hope than expectation.

I’m not entirely sure what it is I now find likeable about Lennon I didn’t see before, maybe because he’s imperfect like the rest of us, a flawed man doing his best in a difficult world, but one of the more silly reasons, as by Christ a bit of levity in all this is needed, is a bit like a bad guy in a soap opera, he’s been around so long, you begin to quite like the fella. Och it’s just Wee Neil being Wee Neil, I wonder what will happen next Doof, doof, doof (Eastenders theme…).

Instant Karma

I have a confession to make that appears to make me slightly different to most Aberdeen supporters. I genuinely loathe Celtic exactly as much as I loathe The Rangers and Rangers. And I do mean absolutely equal. There is no fractional leaning towards either of them on even a hint of a religious or political ground.

It’s always been that way for me, I’m not judging others’ choices, I just see them as one entity. While I will generally avoid any Old Firm matches on TV, if in a pub and an Old Firm game is on, I will back whichever one is playing away from home, as I want to see the home supporters look unhappy. That’s just the way I roll.

Jealous guy

The Old Firm, does it exist? For me yes it does, if you accept there are three teams in it. One of them dead. The original meaning of The Old Firm was an insult. Denoting a business cartel exploiting sectarian division for financial gain. Plus ça change?

I looked up The Old Firm on Wikipedia to see their definition, and it’s a really funny, but not intentionally funny page, where you can smell the editing, and re-editing that will have gone on countless times with heavily agendaed editors. And while Wikipedia’s reputation is as good as destroyed thanks to the Philip Cross story of clearly organised political manipulation with Wikipedia’s consent and collusion, it’s fun to think there’s a bit even Wikipedia dare not fuck with. Old Firm supporters and their whataboutery.

Mind games

When he was manager of Celtic I detested Lennon, his behaviour, his club’s behaviour, the reasons behind it, and the arseholes who threatened his life or sent bullets in the post. I have never had any interest in anyone’s religion or nationality, and I still regret not walking out of Pittodrie when Mark Walters was receiving monkey chants. I’m sorry Mark, sorry you or anyone else ever had to experience that.

I wasn’t surprised when Lennon couldn’t land an EPL manager’s job in England. How much of that was down to his behaviour come reputation, or more likely how much of it being down to Walter Smith, Alex McLeish, Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill being largely found out after landing top jobs in England on the back of managing The Old Firm successfully. Proving once and for all, the Old Firm managerial job to be a piss easy gig, is impossible to know. Ironically, of all those managers, Neil Lennon may be the most talented of them.

When he took over at the soon to be relegated and financially knackered Bolton, I believed he ‘got found out’. I thought he’d disappear to the pundit sofas and golf courses. And then came the resurrection.

Starting over

When he reappeared at Championship side Hibs I was immediately interested and impressed. At a stroke he proved himself to be a real football manager and not the careerist I’d thought he was (like many others). The careerist, who sits and waits for a job.

A football manager manages. You are making the decisions, in charge of your team. Whatever level you play at, a huge percentage of the job is exactly the same. Get the best out of your players, motivate them to beat the opposition, whos opposite number is doing the same. Champions League Final or Highland League (no disrespect) maybe 90% the same job. The same job skills.

Look at the world’s biggest and most deluded fool, Gary Neville. I am so talented, so brilliant, such a winner, so amazing, as I used to occasionally be in the same room as Sir Alex Ferguson, I must have learned everything from him through osmosis.  I will start at the very top of management learning as I go along, in a foreign country, where I don’t speak the language, and my equally inexperienced, idiot brother will be my assistant. Well who’d have thought that would have been a failure?

Meanwhile Steve Patterson, a talented football manager. With issues, like the rest of us, (something, something, something throw the first stone – but not at Neil Lennon) just kept on managing, at whatever level would take him, because he was/is a football manager. Roy Hodgson, another that never developed a media career, just kept managing. It’s almost like the more you do a job, the better you get, and the more likely you are to stay up to date with modern developments. There are those that do, and there are those that talk about doing.

What did Neville do after the Valencia car crash? Did he go down a few leagues, take his knowledge with him that he’d learned, to pick up the basics of management, perhaps try managing the football team he owns. No he went back to his TV career. So he was just playing at football management. Neville is a multi-millionaire from playing football. He doesn’t need the TV money.

Give peace a chance

My own tuppence worth on the Hearts game, I am not going into the details of who’s to blame, and why etc. From the outside, isn’t it quite nice as an Aberdeen supporter that we are outside this one for a change. A couple of thoughts, he is a highly paid multi millionaire. People in football crowds doing very bad things jacked up on whatever, including possibly one of the most potent drugs of all, football adrenalin, will not be multi millionaires. May go to prison, lose their jobs, homes, marriages, the lot. NOT defending them for a second though. And also the same people shouting for the hanging and drawing of the guilty will also be posting on Twitter their awareness for mental health issues and how important it is to talk to someone. As there’s nothing as hypocritical as some asshole on Twitter. Myself included. @thedandydons83

Whatever gets you thru the night

We need to remember it must have been difficult for Lennon growing up, not that many will have experienced the hardship and difficulties he will have faced, the suffering and the pain, the abuse and rejection, growing up as a little ginger fella. I myself can empathise as am part ginge, more an auburn, a higher class of ginge than your regular garden ginge. Also I’m tall, so really I can’t empathise that much at all, but I’ll betcha Wee Gordon Strachan can.

Wee Gordon and Wee Neil, celebrity angry little ginge wrestling. There’s an idea for ya. Neil McCann, he’s another one, despite not being a ginge, appears to be an honorary one, wee angry man at C&A. Let’s get him in the ring too. Any others? Or what about wee angry Scottish fitba ginge throwing? How far can… I’ll stop there. Way too late, but I’ll stop.